THIRD WORLD NETWORK BIOSAFETY INFORMATION SERVICE
NEW GM 2,4-D-RESISTANT CROPS FRAUGHT WITH CONTROVERSY
The U.S. is poised to approve new crops genetically modified by Dow AgroSciences to withstand two herbicides; glyphosate and 2,4-D, in what the company calls its Enlist Weed Control System. If approved, these crops will represent the onset of the second generation of GM herbicide-resistant crops in the country after the first generation of Monsanto’s glyphosate-resistant crops called Roundup Ready, which have unfortunately resulted in a rise of glyphosate-resistant weeds.
If released, Enlist is projected to increase the use of herbicides in the country drastically; the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates this at 78-176 million pounds. While Dow and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are saying that there is no or minimal risk of harm to people and the environment, evidence suggests otherwise. For instance, a review of epidemiology studies found a significant link between 2,4-D exposures and non-Hodgkins lymphoma while there are several studies linking 2,4-D exposure and birth defects (Item 1).
Public-interest groups have slammed the EPA and USDA for seriously underestimating human health and environmental concerns and perpetuating a “chemical arms race with weeds”.Prominent doctors, scientists and business leaders have also urged Congress to pressure the Obama administration to reject Dow’s application (Item 2).
Tolerance to 2,4-D has already been found in several weed species while weeds resistant to multiple herbicides have also been documented, raising fears that weeds will also eventually develop resistance to 2,4-D.
Etiquetas: en, Third World Network